San Antonio Police Mistakenly Arrest And Jail Black Man
A San Antonio man found himself in police custody for no reason when police arrested him under false pretenses.
Mathias Omety was out for an afternoon jog on the city’s North Side when he was confronted by two police officers who believed he was the suspect they were looking for.
But the confrontation ended with the 33-year-old, who is an insurance adjuster, being accused of assaulting the officers and being arrested and held in jail for two days. He was also assigned a court-appointed defense attorney who died nine years ago.
However, the arrest turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.
The two officers were called to around 2 pm on Tuesday. According to the San Antonio Express-News, they stopped Ometu because he matched the description of a man suspected of choking and punching a woman at a nearby apartment complex. Officials claim they repeatedly asked Ometu for his name, which he declined to give them.
A person being detained or questioned by police is not required to provide identification, according to the Texas Penal Code. They are, however, required to follow commands while being detained.
A police report states that Ometu was detained because he was “aggressive” and allegedly refused to get into the back seat of a squad car.
Bystander video shows the officers spent nearly two minutes wrestling Ometu into the car as he was heard screaming, “You’re choking me. You’re choking me. You’re choking me.”
The victim of the family violence incident later arrived at the scene and told police that Ometu was not the man who assaulted her. Officers then took Ometu to Municipal Court “for identification purposes.” It was there that they identified Ometu and arrested him on two felony counts of assaulting a police officer.
Victor Maas and his girlfriend Jennifer Rodriguez, who recorded the video, said they were shocked by the officer’s actions.
“It reaffirmed that cops do not de-escalate situations,” said Maas. “It was shocking how quickly they wanted to get into a fight with a fellow citizen, and how they used their badge and guns to escalate the situation.”
In a statement Thursday (August 27), a Police Department spokeswoman said the incident was under administrative review.